Roberts, J.L.; Whiley, L.; Gray, N.; Gay, M.; Lawler, N.G. Advanced Microsamples: Current Applications and Considerations for Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolic Phenotyping Pipelines. Separations2022, 9, 175.
Roberts, J.L.; Whiley, L.; Gray, N.; Gay, M.; Lawler, N.G. Advanced Microsamples: Current Applications and Considerations for Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolic Phenotyping Pipelines. Separations 2022, 9, 175.
Microsamples (collections usually less than 50 µL) have been introduced in pre-clinical, clinical, and research settings to overcome obstacles in sampling via traditional venipuncture. However, venipuncture remains the sampling gold standard for metabolic phenotyping of blood. This pre-sents several challenges in metabolic phenotyping workflows: accessibility for individuals in ru-ral and remote underserved areas (due to the need for trained personnel), the unamenable nature to frequent sampling protocols in longitudinal research (for its invasive nature), and sample col-lection difficulty in the young and elderly. Furthermore, venous sample stability may be compro-mised when temperate conditions necessary for cold-chain transport are beyond control. Alter-natively, research utilising microsamples extends phenotyping possibilities to inborn errors of metabolism, therapeutic drug monitoring, nutrition, as well as sport and anti-doping. Although the application of microsamples in metabolic phenotyping exists, it is still in its infancy, with whole blood being overwhelmingly the primary biofluid collected through the collection method of dried blood spots. Research into metabolic phenotyping of microsamples is limited; however, with advances in commercially available microsampling devices, common barriers such as volumetric inaccuracies and the ‘haematocrit effect’ in dried blood spot microsampling can be overcome. In this review, we provide an overview of the common uses and workflows for mi-crosampling in metabolic phenotyping research. We discuss the advancements in technologies, highlighting key considerations and remaining knowledge gaps for employment of microsamples in metabolic phenotyping research. Supporting the translation of research from the ‘bench to the community’.
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